#8 PENN STATE 17 MICHIGAN 27
Lousy stinking Donegan, this is all his fault!
Ugh, what a horrible result of a good football game — to be a great football game, we would have had to win, right? Sooooooo close to the payoff — bourbon, only to be denied with no time left. We instead mourned at Sine Irish Pub, since we figured an Irish Wake would better than an Italian wake where all the women are crying, or at least that is what Joe Paterno says.
It turns out all the men were crying inside (we sat outside) because of USC’s last second win over Notre Dame, so we were wrong. Just another crazy day in college football (AP/CDT), just ask Minnesota.
Before we get to down on the Nittany Lions, let us take stock in the fact that 6 – 1 is beyond our wildest expectations. This could still be an excellent season with a New Year’s Day bowl and possibly even a Big11Ten championship. Hopefully the players and coaches will recognize that and not beat themselves up. One game at a time, one game at a time.
Desperate ‘House’ wins – CDT
Boxscore – ESPN.com
In the AP Top 25 College Football Poll Penn State dropped four spots to #12, which is about right. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, Penn State fell to #15, BEHIND Ohio State, which has two loses including one to the Lions. This is the type of thing that makes me take the AP Poll more seriously.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
If this was based purely on the best offensive performance of the game, it would be Tony Hunt, who ran for 102 yards and got Penn State back in the game with 61 yard run in the fourth quarter to set up the Lions first touchdown. However, like most games this year, the most important player on offense was Mike Robinson, for good or ill. He fumbled in the first half and in the 4th quarter he telegraphed a pass that was picked off. He did regain his composure to lead PSU down the field for the game’s penultimate touchdown, which he scored, with :53 left. His two turnovers were very costly, even though Michigan did not convert either of them into points.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Another difficult decision, because no player dominated. Paul Posluzny had an off day, only 11 tackles. Alan Zemaitis stripped the football out of Chad Henne’s grasp and took it to the endzone, untouched, which shocked the crowd and put Penn State ahead. However, he was also about four steps behind Mario Manningham on the game’s final play. Zemaitis has been underwhelming this season.
Posluzny did have gash on the bridge of his nose that was bleeding from the first quarter on though, so I think he gets the honor.
SPECIAL TEAMS SHOULD RIDE THE SHORT BUS TO THE STADIUM
A diastros day for the special teams, PSU should fire the special teams coach. Oh wait, THEY DON’T HAVE ONE. The need for (a good) one was made quite clear yesterday. Two missed field goals and terrible kickoff coverage cost PSU the game, more than anything else, even more than the officiating. There was also a bad snap on the extra point after the second TD, but K Kevin Kelly was able to pick it up and take it in for a two point conversion — a great run by him that would have redeemed a poor outing if the defense could have held for another second.
I don’t even want to talk about PR Calvin Lowry.
ANN ARBOR OFFICIATING: SNAFU
No, the officials did not lose the game for Penn State, but they made it a little harder. I used to believe that Big11Ten team with the best record got the calls, but it is getting harder to deny that a Michigan bias looks awfully believable.
As usual, the zebras ignored holding throughout the game. My biggest beef was the missed penalty for an illegal block in the back on Michigan’s final kickoff return.
RHINO BAR: BAD STAFF AT ANOTHER VIEWING SITE
Fritz and I went to Rhino Bar in Georgetown to watch the game. We choose it because it was pleasant day to walk from Rosslyn Metro to Georgetown via Key Bridge.
Inside, the place was packed. They had a good deal on wings (a quarter each) and $6 Yuengling pitchers. That much, we liked about the place. HOWEVER, they dropped the ball. Around 3:38, they still had not switched the TVs to Channel 7 WJLA, which was broadcasting the game, a 3:30 start, 3:42, so I started a little chant — CHANNEL SEV-EN! CHANNEL SEV-EN! etc. It was well received by fellow Penn Staters, some of who joined in, but one of the bartenders did not like it so he told me to “F@CK OFF.” Really. I’m not kidding. Do you think that is a lot of attitude for a harmless chant?
So, with that attitude, I did not spend another dime there — no establishment that values their customers would have such a belligerent reaction. It was weird.
As you can imagine, I will not be returning to Rhino Bar and I discourage anyone else from going there. It is not our fault that the bartender choose the wrong occupation.